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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  March 15, 2012 11:00pm-1:59am EDT

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the bills. many of us are concerned about an overlay by the department of homeland security. especially over the areas that have developed the expertise through the years and experience cyber warfare at security of all kinds. that would be defense, cia, fbi, and the defense intelligence agency, as well as the national security agency. we are trying to work through what is the best approach for cyber security, and i think my position has been that we don't need a homeland security overlay so much as we need the agencies that had the experience and the expertise to be able to make this decision and these
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decisions on the best way to decide our networks and infrastructure to be secure. in a general way, how would you -- i don't want to put you on the spot -- i guess it is hard for you to say in this environment with all of the different ideas and the different agencies involved, but is there a particular area you think is essential for us to agree on as we move forward in trying to determine how we get to the goal of securing our ever structure? >> let me start by indicating how i perceive the allocation of responsibilities in the cyber arena. on one the one hand, you have the protection of the infrastructure. protection of.gov.
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that falls to the department of homeland security. on the other hand you have the -- not just a possibility, but the actuality of foreign countries seeking to extract information, and with a possibility down the road of cyber attacks. that clause would be intelligence community overseas and the cia and the like. in the middle comes domestic intrusions and determination whether the mystic intrusion is from criminal and organized crime groups. or a teenage hacker. we have 56 field offices around the country. fifty-six cyber squads. the first indication of other intrusion will come to us as it is our responsibly to determine who was behind the computer. and to stop them.
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too often the discussion is how we protect against foreign countries, but part of that has to be disrupting these individuals and putting them behind bars. the legislation that is currently pending is important to us
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is so important today as when what's you point she went on disability experience and expertise in the and the private sector. this is where it is different from addressing terrorism because the private sector has to play a substantial role. private sector rather critical infrastructure and how you execute that come whether through the statute or not is really up to others. my concern is the sharing of information whether we can determine who is really responsible for this and let them out. and perhaps, the third area is necessity of building up the expertise and the federal government amongst all of the agents. and they have reached to the private side you're not only building of the expertise, but also the outreach to the private businesses so that we become partners in ways that we have not in any other criminal arena.
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>> well, you have really highlighted an area that makes this whole intelligence, security holding, and accused come a terrorist without charges being filed. we are not dealing with an enemy that is a nationstate. like we have in the past. so if you pick up a purse and that was in the german army or in the intelligence arm of the german government, you would know in world war ii the u.s. side to hold that person in the military sense. but when it is organizations, like al qaeda and others that have attacked our country, but yet are not -- they are not under the rules of -- of war as
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we expected. the geneva conventions don't accept them. it makes it very difficult to deal with any kind of the intelligence areas when you're dealing the enemy of our country, but not a nationstate. so that is something that we are going to have to deal with and i think -- i mean, i hope a realistic way because i am a senator graham on this. i think we need guantánamo bay. i think we need the ability to old people that are suspected terrorists, that have associations with al qaeda and other networks that deal with al qaeda. and i don't want us to give up our capability to protect our country from another attack from one of these entities that may not even be in an organization
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yet. but i know you're wrestling with it. we are to. we are, too. i will come down on the side of protecting our people with an asymmetric war. that is what we are given to deal with them that got to do it in a way that protects america. thank you. >> thank you very much, director mueller. colleagues, abstract your mueller has said, 60% of the fbi request is in the area of national security. many of these are real defensive issues that the fbi has engaged in a many to make sure we get our resources right while we are working on a very complex policy. therefore, this is why we will move to a closed session. if there are no further questions you may submit further
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questions for the record. we request the fbi's response in the usual 30 days. the subcommittee will temporarily recess then reconvene in a closed session in room 217 at the visitor center. before i close this public part. i look at the director to know us is said to the attorney general, on issues related to public integrity and the issues related to the stevenson under, this is a bipartisan set of requests because we feel that both the justice department, those involved in enforcing the law, if we are going to pursue public integrity issues, which we must and should, that then those who are pursuing it have to have the highest public integrity themselves. we know the fbi high standards. you've insisted on that standard and we thank you.
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but just know that it is not just for men because they are republican and stevens is on this committee. it is larger than that. so we look forward to working with you and we look forward to meeting and the other room we can go into the national security budget in more detail. the committees temperately recessed until he reconvene. next week we'll also take the hearing -- the testimony secretary bryson of commerce. shall we proceed? [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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>> they would wear garments made of hudson cloth and the cloth would be much more rock textured, much less find them the kinds of good that they could enforce or great britain but by wearing this caught,
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women were visibly and physically displaying their political sentiments. >> now, a senate hearing on normalizing trade relations with russia. the committee is looking at the cold war era restriction with the soviet union to the ability of and other religious minorities to immigrate freely. supporter takes full advantage of russia's growing economy by increasing exports to the country. this is about an hour 45 minute. >> catherine the great ones that , there is nothing so difficult as to escape from that which is essentially agreeable.
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russia joined the world trade organization presents a lucrative opportunity to the united states economy is an american jobs. we can all agree on that. we cannot escape this opportunity. russia's largest economy outside the wg out. it is the sixth largest economy in the world. to allow american businesses, workers families and ranches to the represents congress must act. we must pass permanent normal trade relations or access the growing russian markets. u.s. exports to russia have rejected to double within five years. if congress doesn't pass they would join a debate show anyways and they lose out to their chinese competitors.
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these competitors will expand their experts at our expense. they benefit american workers and businesses that requires them to give up nothing in return. am i to free trade agreement the u.s. will not further open it to russia or other terrorists to trade less. it's a one-way street. rush on the other hand will lower its tariffs to u.s. exports. u.s. service providers looking access to communications, banking and other key markets. u.s. meat producers will secure greater access to the russian market including a generous u.s. beef quota of 60,000 empty tons. in the united states will get new tools to hold bush accountable to its obligation. these include a legal person and transparency measures.
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but in order for u.s. businesses and workers to benefit from russia's joining the wto, congress must pass and repeal the checks jackson-vanik amendments. the jackson-vanik communist countries unless the president determines the countries permits free and unrestricted immigration assistance. congress originally passed a law in response to soviet unions immigration restrictions, particular with respect to the jewish insistence. jackson-vanik help the services and help jewish and is now a relic of the past. every president regardless of political party has waived such as requirements for russia for the past 20 years. when i went to russia last month i met with russian and american business leaders, including don pollett here with us today. i also attack this working to
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improve democracy, human rights and corruption in the country and i met with leaders of the jewish community. the message from all the this is clear. the united states should repeal jackson-vanik and pass russia ptnr. earlier this week leading russian democracy and human rights activists were two letters calling on congress to repeal jackson-vanik. i'm entering both letters into the record as part of the statement. one letter from the today's states that the day after the jackson-vanik amendment quote only hinders the interaction of the economy and the people of the two countries at war since the human rights situation in russia, and quote. repealing jackson-vanik weakens the ability of the hardliners of russia to relic anti-american forces. the act do this on the other letter explained that jackson-vanik is a very useful
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anti-american propaganda tool and they state it provides a tool that helps to depict the united states is hostile to russia using outdated cold war tools to undermine russia's international competitiveness, and quote. repealing jackson-vanik takes away this tool and opens russia to u.s. competition, to ideas and transparency. these that this so-called raise serious questions about russia's human rights and democracy record. i share these questions. but like the activist, i believe that ptnr should not be in question. we owe it to american businesses, ranchers and farmers working to decrease export to the growing russian market. we ought to u.s. workers whose jobs depend on this export and we owe it to the russian activists who are asking for our help in their fight for democracy. so let us embrace this opportunity for economy and for american jobs. in the spirit, let us move
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forward with that which we can all agree. let us work together to pass rush a ptnr. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think that i understand the message this hearing is intended to convey. american businesses want access to russian markets and we should repeal the jackson-vanik and grant without delay it's a slamdunk. but it isn't a slam dunk. let's stipulate that american businesses, farmers and ranchers should be able to sell products to russia and free trade is important and beneficial to the united states. we still need to determine whether america is getting a good deal to russia's wto accession of other more should be done to protect their interests. for example, russia has never ratified the bilateral investment treaty that the senate ratified years ago. that treaty would prevent russia
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from expropriating businesses and admittedly big problem in russia. this is a very basic economic rate that isn't being protected. in addition, one of our witnesses will discuss bush's failure to remit loyalties, which is also not strictly covered by the tvt agreements. and i submit the administration is missing the point on the repeal of jackson-vanik, which is freedom of emigration. we'll immigration may longer be an issue, russia's blatant disregard for human rights and the rule of what is every bit as relevant today as it was decades ago. human rights cannot be divorced from the discussion of our economic relationship with russia, particular since some of the most egregious cases of abuse and all citizens exercising their economic and commercial rate. and consider the case of surrogate magnets p., vienna where he was imprisoned, tortured and died in prison because he sought to expose economic corruption at the
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highest levels of russian government. several of us have joined senator cardin in cosponsoring legislation to send a clear message to those who commit gross violations of human rights committee will not have the privilege of visiting or accessing financial network of the united states. and mr. chairman would like to submit for the record at the push to my statement two letters -- one letter to "the new york times" editor and op-ed in "the wall street journal," march 15 by garry kasparov on this issue. when the u.s. a master of russia, michael mcfaul suggests that there is no association between a country perspective for individual liberties and it business environment, he simply denying reality. when two parties enter into a contract, is essential both parties operate in good faith. there is scant evidence the russian state operates in good faith. as a troubling pattern of intimidation and disregard for the human lot, fraudulent
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elections coming human rights abuses in government sanctioned anti-americanism. contrary to the administration's assertion, russia is moving further away from international norms and values. in recent months, moscow has on the block u.n. security council action in syria, but continue to sell arms to assess regime responsible for the slaughter is innocent citizens. this is not a government can be trusted or commitments or get a fair shake to american businesses. looking only at the wto context, russia has not lived up to the commitments authority made on intellectual property rights, for example as a condition joining debbie t. o. resch remains of u.s. trade representative special 301 priority watch list for ip violations. what makes us think it was about to its commitments after being allowed to join the pto? yes we should have access to a wto dispute settlement process
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if we grant russia pnt are, but what has that gotten us in our trade relationship with china? 12 years ago, congress repealed jackson-vanik and if a ptnr and how did that work out? while compliance with debbie see how commitments, the most recent report is 127 pages long, filled with problems. the u.s. has used the formal dispute settlement process to address these issues only in a handful of cases. one case has remained open since 2007. even in the rare cases that we get justice, it is not speedy justice. despite all the structures of the wto china gets away with it. this is what we get from china which ranked 75th among all countries on transparency international corruption sandbags, what can we expect from russia, which ranks abysmal 143rd on the scene last?
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china was not granted subtree without delay he takes on a couple pages of legislated tax to repeal jackson-vanik, but it has six subtitles to the u.s.-china relationship. given the current problems at the trade relationship with china, it probably wasn't enough. it's simply unreasonable to believe that ptnr can have a thorough examination of abuse. so we should have free trade coming as russia should be part of the community. the question is whether the proposed agreement and repeal of jackson-vanik gets a spare. i hope this is not our last hearing on the subject. >> thank you, senator very much. first we have mr. samuel allen, chairman and ceo of the dear company. i must tell you is ready now as
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an aggression on go in a visited one of your plants they are of the assembly operations just outside of moscow is very impressed with the people and the products that you are to russians and helping russian agriculture and i very much appreciate that opportunity. next we have mr. braun pollett. i was in moscow not long ago. mr. pollett is president and ceo of ge russia/cis. next mr. watty taylor. he is one of our guys from montana. he is a president of montana stat growth association, second-generation family rancher friend kirby, montana. thank you free much for coming to join us. next we have mr. paul williams, president and chairman of the board of the american society of composers, authors and publishers. thank you very much,
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mr. williams. senator hatch senses special regards. he could not be here but wanted to tell you how much he appreciates working with you at various matters and it's meant a lot to him and he deeply regrets he could not be here. >> i appreciate it. it's been very kind. >> and finally, mr. alan larson, transparency and u.s.a. i must tell you mr. larson enjoyed many with the director transparency of national russia in moscow last month. very, very impressive, intelligent lady and very compelling same story to tell why she's back in russia and didn't stay over in brussels. the thank you and didn't stay over in brussels. the thank you. the usual practices ensure brussels. the thank you. the usual practices ensure you are where i'll speak about five minutes then urge you to be very direct, forthcoming, candid.
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mr. allen, you are first. >> thank you and the chairman baucus, senator kyl come in to see which members of the committee. chairman and ceo deere & company on behalf of john deere in the business roundtable, thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony from establishing trade relations with russia to john deere and the u.s. business community. granting ptnr is crucial for manufacturers, service providers and agricultural producers to receive the full benefits of russia's wpo session. it is essential to enable us to compete on a level playing field for russian customers. the reasons are clear. first, ptnr launcher he was trimmer for customers doing business in russia. it is a concrete sample. russia has committed upon a session to significantly reduce the tariffs on imported agricultural equipment from 15% to 5%. however, it is likely that russia would not extend the lower terror for its two us-made
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products until it is stranded ptnr. companies like john deere would be a competitive disadvantage relative to foreign competitors and would have no recourse to the wto should it arise. this would negatively affect our u.s. operations because many of the products we sell and russia utilize components closely connected to jobs in our facilities and the american midwest. second, ptnr will strengthen commercial ties between the two countries. jackson-vanik will a subject u.s.-russia trade to the wto adjudication process and also will promote transparency and certainty through wto rules, ranging from service regulations to agricultural standards to intellectual property rights. third, granting jackson-vanik will directly -- jackson-vanik ptnr will maintain and create good jobs here in the united states.
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russia's large and growing economy coupled with ptnr presents significant opportunities for u.s. companies to serve customers across many such errors. russia's already one of the worlds largest markets with nearly $2 trillion economy and a rapidly growing, well educated middle class. john deere has had a presence in russia for over 100 years. this has greatly expanded in recent years with investments into factories including their newest facility just outside moscow, which chairman baucus did recently visited. these facilities use components produced and exported from john deere facilities in iowa, illinois, north dakota and other states to produce agriculture, forestry and construction equipment for the russian market. this activity directly affects jobs in factories supported by almost 2000 suppliers located in 45 states. in fact, we recently announced $70 million investment into waterloo, iowa facility to
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expand for large tractors for which russia is a living export market. we are also exporting deere business values and standards. our russian operations apply the same high standards for compliance, integrity, safety for workers and customers, and environmental stewardship that we have in our facility here in the united states and around the world. our interest and investment reflect the enormous potential for the russian economy in the segments which are significant for business. russia can become a nature creation for the growing demand for food and forestry product is a global population expands and becomes more affluent. other close up a few words about the business experience in russia. our experience over all has positive. yes, frustrations from time to time, but little difference than in any other emerging market. ..
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thank you again for the opportunity to testify and i will be pleased to respond to any questions the committee may have her ghost be thank you very much. mr. pollett you are next. >> chairman baucus, senator kyl and establishment of the committee thank you for the opportunity to testify today on a subject this subject that i feel is of political importance. establishing permanent issues with russia. just a moment of background about me. me u.s. citizen born and raised in new york. i joined ge in 1991 amber the
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past 13 years i've been working in russia. for the past six years i've served as chairman of the board of the american chamber of commerce in russia with more than 700 member companies, the largest and most influential foreign business association in the country. i've been in a unique position to witness the changes that russia's gunter and i believe they are poised to be a more significant player in the global economy but i've also been in a position to observe how on the whole u.s. businesses are underrepresented. i believe png are can change this. russia presents extremely good opportunities for u.s. companies to provide an important proviso. the such a level playing field is essential for u.s. companies to take advantage of these opportunities. russia is a big fast-growing economy but the u.s. has a relatively small presence in the russian market accounting for just 4% of russian imports. by contrast the european union
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accounted for 29% and 43% respectively. when i arrived in russia in 1988 jihad at $110 million in sales. last year we had more than $1.6 billion in sales in our industrial business businesses sold almost $1.2 billion in u.s. borders from russia, up from four to $10 million in 2010. these order support more than 3000 jobs for ge and its suppliers in the united states and the belief that our sales with pntr could triple by 2020. we asked companies to take full advantage of russia's growing market, however congress must repeal the jackson-vanik amendment and establish pntr with russia. let me offer a few concrete examples of what russia's pntr will mean for ge. russia is the fourth-largest electricity market in the world are good ge energy with 38,000 u.s. employees will see average -- fall from five to
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12%. these turbines are practically produced in south carolina and texas. rushes looking to double its spending on health care with more than 22,000 u.s. employees principally in wisconsin texas and new jersey. we will see tariffs on medical fall from 15 from 24.3%. russia as the world's second-largest railway system, some 10,000 locomotives will need upgrades to the tune of $10 billion. this is an enormous opportunity for ge's transportation business based in pennsylvania which employs over 8300 u.s. workers. ge is also the largest supplier today for an aircraft to rush and the largest aircraft lessor. ge aviation with 25,000 u.s. workers in our leasing business stand to benefit his russia reduces its tariffs on aircraft engines from 225%. these ge products are made in ohio claremont kentucky and north carolina not to mention hundreds of suppliers in 34
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states. it's not simply to lower tariffs. wto commits to eliminate nontariff barriers implement the high standard of ipr to protection and improved transparency critical for u.s. companies. without pntr the u.s. would have no recourse to wto dispute settlement should disputes arise. if the u.s. does not grant pntr to rush american companies and their workers will be at a significant disadvantage relative to our global competitors. equally concerning is the signal that would descend to russia that that his time in export growth is key to the u.s. economy. lou would be rejecting an important opportunity while competitors take advantage of our absence. one thing is clear, russia will join the wto whether or not the u.s. grants pntr status. the vote to a quart pntr to russia is about one thing and one thing only. is about the ability of american companies to compete on a level playing field according to the same set of rules with foreign companies all eager to do
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business in a fast-growing economy. i urge this committee and the full congress to allow the american economy and the american workers to be able to reap the benefits of these opportunities. thank you. >> thank you mr. pollett very much. mr. taylor. >> good morning chairman baucus. senator kyl, members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the montana stockgrowers association regarding our point of view on the world trade organization. my name is watty taylor and i'm a rancher from kirby montana and service the present at the montana stock rowers, one of the nations oldest and most historically significant cattle ranching organizations established in 1884. ilog with my wife leila and 3 cents operated a cattle operation and 30,000 acres in southeastern montana. ranching has been a vital part of my family heritage for many years.
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96% of the world population lives of at the borders of the united states. we must have access to the additional demand for beef from consumers that live outside the u.s. if we hope to remain successful. for beef in 2011. we can now achieve a significant increase in our exports to russia thanks to the provision of the russia's wto agreement. these provisions include a large specific beef quota and lower tariffs for high-quality beef. this will be beneficial to my family's ranch. of congress can pass his pntr legislation. i'm confident we can provide a significant amount of high-quality beef defined by the agreement. montana is leading the way to produce large volumes of usda quality choice and prime cuts of beef. we have a reputation for rearing
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superior cattle through many different kinds of harsh environs. are certified cabs will meet the demand for high-quality. it's also exciting that montana is currently exporting several thousand head of our superior cattle to russia to help establish a more vibrant domestic beef industry. the possibilities are endless. in fact montana ranches are currently living and working in russia to establish cattle ranching enterprises. what russia's a tremendous opportunity for a beef we need to ensure that we don't run the risk of facing unscientific restrictions. montana ranchers have always appreciated the efforts by chairman baucus to move us toward trade agreements that are based on sound science and international standards. in particular -- on standards along with other technical issues for beef is crucial. without the pntr we will not be able to enforce these commitments. recognizing the international
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standards is very important. did not only creates market volatility but also encourages the safest and most crude and production practices. issues that are most important to ranchers with regard to russia include tetracycline. we encourage the adoption of the codec standard for tetracycline residues in beef. we encourage the adoption of standards for beta agonist residues in the face on scientific risk assessment conducted according to internationally recognized methods. bacterial parameters. we encourage the adoption of science-based standards in the unfortunate event that beef becomes contaminated with bacteria such as salmonella or listeria. once russia has adopted science-based anders frank urge them to implement a risk-based sanction policy for u.s. beef shipment that does not comply with those standards.
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veterinary equivalence, we encourage the use of land 2012 by veteran air service to make determination of the equivalent of u.s. meat inspection systems. usda food safety inspection service as a complementing authority. we encourage the recognition of fsis is the budgetary authority of the united states. this includes recognizing the authority to approve and suspend u.s. beef establishments for exports to russia. in addition we need to ensure that russia fully implements the tariffs they have agreed to make on beef, extending permanent normal trade relations to russia with a bus -- to give ranchers the momentum we need to benefit our rural ranted economies at home. exports to create jobs. our competitiveness depends on profitability and attracting the next generation of ranchers back into the business.
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iran's families livelihood depends on exports for termers dynamic and vibrant opportunity for long-term sustainability. i appreciate the opportunity that i've been granted to present my testimony today and i look forward to working with you throughout the course of this process to secure normal trade relations with russia. i'm happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you is to chairman very much. mr. williams. >> chairman baucus senator kyl members of the committee. my name is paul williams and i'm an american songwriter. to not opposed to appear as my capacity as the chairman of ascap, the american society of composers authors and publishers and on behalf of of our 427,000 american songwriter, composer and music publisher members. senators i'm not here today to address rampant russian copyright piracy which other u.s. copyright interest have -- whether i'm here to bear witness to the challenges u.s. music
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phase in securing fair compensation for public performance of our music through quote normal channels in russia, unquote. public performance royalties increasingly determined whether a talented music creator can remain a professional or is forced to take a day job to subsidize the music copying bill withers was the one-time senator who said you don't want is taking a job senator, you're you are liable to end up with ozzy osborne as your plumber and you will be in a lot of trouble. such a transition would be a huge loss not only for american culture but also for our economy. ascap members are overwhelmingly the owners of small innovative businesses. i've always said i am metaphorically perfect president for ascap for i am a small businessman mr. chairman. user creators and owners depend on the efficiencies of performing rights organizations like ascap. this to license their public performance rights and collect
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and distribute royalties prefer example of a bus to make a living writing songs that i but i live in california. how am i a songwriter living in california expected to collect royalties for performances of my songs throughout the world? ascap does this for me. we rely on a network of reciprocal relationships with foreign pro's and companies all over the world. these foreign royalties can constitute an ever-increasing portion of american music creator's income. is over one third and makes a positive contribution to our balance -- i am sad to report however that we are grossly underpaid for public performances of our work in russia. few comparisons prove my point when the french and italian economies in roughly the same size or performance royalties collected in 2009 in france are 11 times greater. and eataly on most nine times greater, denmark, denmark with only 4% of russia's population,
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denmark at an economy one tenth the size of russia collects nearly twice as much for public performances as russia. it is clear that american music theaters are not reaping the benefits for russia's passion for america's music and movies. why is this? we believe the russian legal system handicaps the efforts. that is ascap's russian counterpart in collecting royalties. to act as a collection society for u.s. music creators get russian courts often don't follow the law. they don't follow the law. russian courts demand extraordinary costly documentation of a right to represent ascap members of sometimes they simply refuse to recognize the standing to do so. it makes no sense. further ascap composers are supposed to receive royalties for the public performance of music and movies exhibited in russian theaters. in fact they have benefited through the years in the past
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but there is no doubt such royalties can be an increasingly significant, could be increasingly significant has american movies are enormously popular and widely distributed in russia. everybody loves american movies. in january 3 of the top five grossing films in russia are made in america including the wonderful film hugo. however, however, meritless legal challenges now threaten the authority to collect from this critic leahy important source of royalties for u.s. music which translates to food on the table, gas and the car and taking your kids to school. finally russian fiscal authorities require -- a value-added tax or a fad as a statutory rate of 18% from our royalties come 18% from our royalty distribution. no other pro in the world the ducks this from our member's royalties. although russia granted other
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intellectual properties this is not extended to copyright. senators this is plain unfair and it adds insult to injury given the apparent under collection of royalties. we are realists. we know there is no magic wand that our government can wave to ensure american music creators and copyright owners are fairly compensated and russia however regardless of what happens with pntr we asked that the u.s. government will help us achieve the following goals, three simple things. very things we asked. russian judges and lawyers must receive better training and education in the handling of foreign copyrights. russia must stop its discriminatory treatment of u.s. songwriters and must clarify his law provides a performance rights of music incorporation and audiovisual works and movies. based on ongoing problems with china we are under no illusions that russia's entry into the wto by itself will improve the predicament of ascap members. if congress decides to grant
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pntr the u.s. government must address for use all available enforcement tools to protect american songwriter's composers and publishers. agreement without enforcement may be worse than no agreement at all. if senators could sit down and -- it's a privilege to be your nick thank you for that. >> thank you mr. williams. >> a dam good songwriter and a member of ascap. >> i've heard some of the songs in there pretty good. >> they are very good and they are even better when i'm in his office. [laughter] >> mr. larson, undersecretary of state with the bush administration? thank you very much the honorable allen larson, thank you very much.
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>> chairman baucus, senator kyl and senators thank you for the invitation to testify. my testimony is informed by many experiences formerly as under secretary of state economics during the clinton and george w. bush administrations. currently as senior international policy adviser and currently is chairman of the board of directors of transparency international usa. in 2009, my transparency international counterpart to i'm pleased to have the opportunity meet mr. chairman and i participated in a private-sector group that prepared and submitted a report to president medvedev and and and president obama entitled, russia-u.s. joint working group on investment and institutional integrity. separately in 2009 i served as cochair of a private-sector advisory committee that provided the administration with recommendations about a new bilateral investment treaties, a
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new model there. my written statement describes three sets of disciplines. you can think of them is a triangle. if they form the foundation for solid rule of law framework for international activities. first discipline, second investment disciplines and third institutional integrity. when only one or two of those are in place the rule of law framework for businesses are not as strong nor a stable as it is one all three sides of the rule of law triangle are in place. i believe congress and the frustration should be partners in ensuring that all three sides of the rule of law triangle become firmly established in our economic relationship with russia. in my testimony, in my written testimony i urge that such actions be taken. one relating to trade, to recommendations relating to investment and three recommendations relating to institutional integrity and
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controlling corruption. i believe congress should be engaged in and exercise continuing oversight on these actions, which will strengthen the rule of law for business. first, congress should extend permanent normal trade relations to russia. doing so is in our foreign-policy interest and it is in our economic interest. second, the administration and russia should initiate and vigorously pursued negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty, which both countries legislatures then should ratify. russia failed to gratify an investment treaty negotiated in 1992 and as a result u.s. investors in russia lacked important rule of law protections. third, the administration should advocate for u.s. investors in russia and vigorously espouse the crimes of u.s. investors whose investments were expropriated in 2004 through
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2007. in the absence of an assessment treaty these investors to not have the opportunity to pursue this settlement through investment treaty arbitration mechanisms. fourth, forth, the administration should vigorously work to ensure that all parties to the oecd antibribery convention including russia fully carry out their commitments under the convention to prevent overseas business bribery by their nationals. fifth, russia and the united states should intensify work to ensure that russia's customs tax administration and judiciary are freer of corruption. sixth, russia and the united states should cooperate to expand the scope for civil society organizations such as transparency international to monitor, investigate and report on suspected corruption. i believe the executive branch
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and the congress can be and should he the partners in this work. i would urge the executive branch to present to congress a plan to implement all of these measures to strengthen the rule of law. i would urge the congress to exert active and continuing oversight to ensure that the executive branch presents a plan, implement that plan vigorously and makes progress for business in putting into place all three sides of the rule of law triangle, the trade side, the investment side and the institutional integrity side. thank you. >> thank you very much mr. larson. some american businessmen tell me they don't want to do business with russia, don't even try, because of corruption. it's just not worth it. in fact i think i saw a study somewhere, where an international organization that ranks countries at according to
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political corruption and russia was way down near the bottom. so i would like to ask mr. allen and mr. pollett and mr. larson and the mr. taylor, any of you who wish to respond, what should be done about that from a u.s. perspective and a guide -- does pntr help or hurt in that effort? mr. allen? >> from our perspective, we have been doing business as indicated for a long time and it had a significant presence now in the last decade or grow corruption is an issue. there is no doubt that it exists but there is corruption in a number of countries and it's the company and its business conduct that is the important part of this and when we go to these countries, countries like russia, we establish strong condit guidelines and we assure
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that our operations run that way and we think that ends up being a promoter of improved conduct in the entire business community. i can tell you that when you establish a reputation there that way you can be effective. the plant that you've visited was built in nine months, nine months. that's hard to do anywhere in the world. people say you can be done in russia because of all of the corruption. it was done ethically, all of or and done in a nine-month period of time working in conjunction with russian government officials. so, it's something we have to deal with and we take it very seriously. we enforce it very seriously with our people. no doubt about it, the permanent normal trade relations with only continue to improve the climate. you won't solve it overnight but it will improve the climate. of. >> mr. pollett what do you say about that?
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i have talked to a number of business then who is that i'm not going to go but there. is to grab. spirit like to echo many of the comments made by mr. allen. we have had similar experience with markets around the world and when you work outside the united states you can be prepared to working in different environments including addressing corruption. ge works according to the rules in every country where er and it does make it more challenging and probably more expensive. you have to have a lot of lawyers in russia. >> would you tell a midsize company that is not as large as g.? >> do you smart challenging and we have a large profile that the government as well and they know who we are so it's easier for us to push back to be very honest with you but i've been there for 13 years and i've seen a very dramatic improvement from what it was like back in the late 1990s. >> how much will a failure to grant pntr help or hinder midsized american companies from doing business in russia? >> i think would help because it brings us together into the debt
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debbie ta overrules basest demented think it's very important and will help all americans companies. >> will it help encourage russia to join the oecd? >> as well. they have are designed to do that and there is a real sense from what i see that they do want, they want to start doing some of the right things. they need foreign investment and they need companies to come in and need companies to improving their operating environment. they have added nice that is something to work on. >> askew mr. larson about corruption and how to deal with it. you mentioned the bilateral message treaty that needs to be negotiated. are we more likely or less likely to get that treaty without pntr with russia? >> thank you. first of all i'd like to say that i do think that the two corporate leaders who just spoke have organizations that have shown themselves in the very serious about overseas corruption and they have a very fine track record. we are privileged to be able to
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work with and on some of these issues. secondly senator kyl mentioned in his remarks that russia, as you did too chairman baucus, ranks very very low and some of these corruption perceptions index and that reflects the fact that there is a widespread view among international business a very good others that this is things that russia has decided to become a member of the antibribery convention. and has passed a law. they won't necessarily implement that instantly. a lot of western european countries didn't but it's a very good start that they are trying to discipline their own companies and respect to overseas robbery. many, many observers say there is a very serious problem in russia, especially in the customs tax administration and the judiciary and i think that the administration needs to
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continue to work with russia on that. i notice that putin in an op-ed, that he published in "the washington post" recently, said that there is a problem of systemic corruption and he wants he said in this op-ed, tackle it. well, we ought to take him up on it and the administration my opinion not to propose to congress a plan for how they can follow up and work with the russian government to tackle the this problem to the benefit of our u.s. businesses. i do think that civil society organizations like transparency international have a role to play. i think it should be scope for them to report on suspected instances of corruption, be able to do that. and finally, mr. chairman you asked about pntr, its impact all this. i think pntr is definitely a plus, not just for trade
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relations but it imposes a degree of discipline in trade relations that is a positive step. on the rule of law, it's necessary. it's not all we need to do but it's very important. >> thank you very much. >> thank you chairman. we are getting right to the nub of the problem and that is you talk about the three legs of this dual. when is the best time to negotiate the other two legs of us do? adds that after you grand pntr or is it before and that is really the question seems to me. you have a little bit stronger hand to play if we explained that on for example on the v. kai: t's we want duma to ratify the treaty that the united states has ratified. expropriation is not something that in this day and age ought to be permitted among rule abiding commercial patience and we will talk about you coast in just a moment here but isn't it
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rather than hurting the administration to begin addressing the problem after pntr isn't this the time that we would be better off addressing these problems so we can get it up front rather than trying to achieve them after we have granted the status and that he ask you first mr. larson. >> senator kyl i think you raise a very important point. it's not an easy one to be quite honest. i think that in my experience in diplomacy it is important not to let perfect be the enemy of good and i think i own personal view is that we should seize the opportunity that is created by pntr, extend ptnr and have russia be in the wto but if we stop there, then we have only done part of the job and i think as i said in my oral remarks, i think this is something that the congress and the administration to work together on. it need not be a personal issue. >> let me just in europe.
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this is not a partisan issue and yes congress and the administration need to work together. my question goes to when we are most likely to get cooperation which let's face it has been very difficult coming. i want to ask mr. williams a question if i could hear. >> can i just? 1/2 sentence. thank you, sir. i do think it's a very important that congress seized the opportunity to have the administration come forward with a plan for how they will implement these other sites of the rule of law. ..
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of the russian court system. i want to give you to track and record out concerns background aggression ptnr before the russians take steps to implement the intellectual property reforms and the other wto accession commitments reduces the leverage that we might otherwise have. >> absolutely. i'm also 71 years old and i've reached that point in my life where i know that they are -- when you move into an area where that the expertise to say one is better than the other. underrun persecutes audio to make these adjustments right after jackson-vanik is granted. alitalia were in the rare position where an unlikely position and i understand your
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whether it's granted or not her music will continue to grow in the country. so my specific concern as an organization, we don't have a specific stance on ptnr. i am sympathetic to individually i can imagine watching the prospects of china's stepping name if we can't do business. for mallorca in the station, i have to represent them and i will say that what we need this to matter what happens with ptnr, we need some aggressive actions on the part of the united states government joined with the russian government's and the value-added tax that is unfair and a and a where i get more where i get more money from honduras nid china. >> because my time is so short, we try to anticipate all the things that we could hold china to. we have a very thick document
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with china. and you saw the report today holds up. it is very difficult after you've granted the status to then get them to make -- you really fulfill the commitments that they've made. that is the concern we have about granted the status to russia prior to the negotiation of these other two legs of the stool. in an emerging country like russia. but at least he tried to understand that the best negotiating position to demand those things that actually simply matters of rule of law that other commercialization is recognized long ago. >> fna, the one element of greatest concern to is the value-added tax could become a precedent for other countries and that would be the damage to american music as traitors and songwriters and composers is beyond what i can save here. it would be huge. >> i think all the witnesses. i wish i had a chance to visit
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with all of you. >> thank you are much, senator. senator cornyn. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i want to spend my time covering a subject i may or may not call for a response from the witnesses, but i will invite that at the end. on february 5th, russia and china blocked the u.n. security council resolution that would have endorsed arab league plan for someone to step down. it would've supported a demand syrian troops withdrawn this is the latest incident were for its own reasons in a way that has destabilized the world iran in this instance, which is the main beneficiary of the continued regime of president assad to
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stay in power. but i want to highlight this issue. this has to do with how president assad is getting arms with which to kill innocent syrian citizens, some 8000 of them according to reports from the united nations. it is not only the question of russians exporting arms to syria to kill innocent civilians. it is also the fact that the department of defense, the united east department of defense has a contract with a team russian arms exporter. and i sent a letter, mr. chairman to secretary of defense panetta with 16 colleagues, raising this issue. and i'd like to have been a part of the record you >> without objection. >> i appreciate that. >> well, imagine my surprise when i found that russia is not
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only selling russians to hugo chavez in venezuela and to the mullahs in tehran, but also that we have a contract with the department of defense do so a set of tears, the 21 tool used on my 17 helicopters for the afghan military from multiple in exporter. this is a no-bid contract awarded by the army just last summer, several months after this hearing appraising began and it is worth $375 million. that is 375 million u.s. tax year dollars going to russian arms arming president assad, with which he is killing innocent syrians. it does not require a leap of logic to conclude the proceeds of this contractor helping finance these mass atrocities.
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i should also note that syria has a history of not actually paying for those weapons according to press reports during the 2000 visit by assad to russia and then president vladimir putin rode off nearly 75% of serious $13.5 billion debt to russia for past arms sales. i think is unconscionable that u.s. taxpayers would be put in this position for their hard earned tax dollars would indirectly mass murder. yet the department of defense has so far refused to cancel this contract and even in the face of mounting evidence, that the export remains a key enabler of the assad regime of murder and intimidation. let me just conclude by asking a rhetorical question if any of the witnesses would care to make, it would be welcome.
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sure, we want to create jobs here in america. we want to trade with international partners and grow the economy both in those training partners countries in here in the united states, but at what point whether it's corruption, whether it is enabling international terrorists, states like iran, whether it is ironing thugs and murderers like president assad is serious, do we say cost is just too high in terms of sacrificing our basic values and protecting human rights? mr. allen. >> that is quite a setup. >> i didn't intend it as a setup. i intend it as an honest question if you have anything you'd like to say i'd appreciate it. >> i will try to do my best.
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as i was listening, though several other issues out there. what i am not able to correlate is how ptnr status, in preventing it, will in any way change the species. those issues still need to be sold. i would argue that giving russia a ptnr status, given a chance for all of us to continue to move that country along will be a positive and i think what a lot of people are not looking up right now as this is not just about growing jobs. they are going into the wto. if we don't go with it kind it is about losing jobs is our business as well go down basically our competitors. if real-life examples i could give you. >> senator menendez. now, senator kerry, you are next. i'll let you decide between themselves who is ready. do you want to it, senator?
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okay, senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to pick up where some of my colleagues have spoken about here. i appreciate that russia presents a tremendous business market for american companies and that wto rules will hopefully level the playing field for american companies to do business in russia. but at the same time, lifting jackson-vanik is a huge benefit to russia and all of you businesspeople understand the essence of leverage in negotiations. that is not something abstract. you can do that all the tentative businesses. it seems to me a moment in which there is leverage at the end of the day. and this is a huge benefit to russia both ethically and economically and a lot of us are not feeling like this is a good time to be reporting russia about anything. the recent elections make a
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mockery of democracy. democratic governments are far better for business to operate under transparency, rule of law, cq contracts, protection of intellectual property. patents were likely and democracy do not. the human rights situation is not improving in that case of sir jamie kaminsky, which mccauley, senator cardin has been a champion of is not an exception of any means. we ask for help from russia, the u.n. security council to stop iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and to help prevent the killing of innocent citizens inferior, be kidnapped and returned. now that they make the case for business spends how it affects us here. look at gas prices because of instability in iran. gas prices not only for consumers in america and drivers in america, the accretion of products when all of these fuels that are necessary for creation of a product or the transportation and delivery of
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products to the marketplace. so, i look at this and i can make real connections, not only on the principle of human rights, but on the economics of it as well domestically. so i would hope we would see from the business community, which seems to lack, if it tools track approach that addresses everyone's needs and concerns where we find a way forward on repealing jackson-vanik, but also find a way forward on trying to improve russia's human rights record. we need a vehicle like the miniscandal the sunset go to russia that means we are serious about human rights and that we will deny assets of persons who are human rights violators. so i would like to have particularly members of the business community here, do you not see the correlation between the consequences of a russia that does these things in the
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domestic concerns that we have that actually affect your business is in addition to the value that you obviously see as it relates to wto? and can you not join in the voices that say yes, let us remove jackson-vanik so we can get the full benefit of russia's participation of the wto, but also pursue these other things that actually have an effect, not only in terms of our legitimate interest in human rights and democracy, but also an real economic consequences here back at home. and finally -- i would like to ask out the business leaders and mr. larson, do you perceive the ability of russia to eliminate the pervasive corruption that affects all aspects of russian life? many american companies, particularly energy sector seemed agreements altered by heavy-handed regulation openhanded bureaucrats. with the wto membership actually
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solve those problems? i would like to get to those quickly if they can because they have about a minute left. >> so my quick part i would say at first, most people realize or pocketknives india as a large democracy. we do with every bit of corruption in india that we do within russia. so i think we certainly want to see the corruption change, but the culture and the continued move that forward is going to be a long process. it will not be an event driven process. and on the first part of my question, do not see the nexus between the actions russia takes that affect us here domestically, economically? you don't see that on your company? >> yes, i do see those actions. there is a timing issue that is also -- the part that i keep trying to reinforce this they are going to move into the wto and we are going to lose any additional leverage as a result
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of that and they will be doing trade with other partners that we will be at the disadvantage and we will have less opportunity to influence them going forward as a result of that. >> mr. chairman, if i could just get mr. larson to answer the latter question. >> thank you, senator menendez. but i have recommended is that on the occasion of congressional consideration of ptnr that the administration should present a plan for tackling some of these corruption issues. one, making sure that russia had tears to his obligations under the oecd bribery convention which is disjoint. too, that there be serious cooperative efforts to tackle the issues of corruption's customs and tax administration in judiciary and three, that there be scope for civil society
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organizations to report on instances of suspected corruption. i think all of that is part of creating a strong rule of law framework for business. i also believe that the extension of ptnr at jackson-vanik will assess, but i think we should do both. >> thank you. i went to thank you for your statement. i appreciate your leadership in this effort. as chairman of the foreign relations committee, i think we are on our committee pretty sensitive to the complexity of our relations with the russian federation and we held hearings recently on the subject of human rights and democracy in russia and expect we will continue to do that. but i would say that senator kyl and others who are questioning this thing are sort of talking past each other a little bit
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here and a tank missing the point. russia is going into the wto. this is not a negotiation like panama or one of the other trade treaties we had over opening up in lowering tariffs and doing things. we are not here. we don't do anything. russia is in the wto. and if we don't do it, we are denying their workers. that is all that happens here. what is interesting and i hope senator kyl, you've seen the letter recently. an open letter by russian opposition activist, stating their strong view that the continued application of sub two to russia is not helpful for promotion of human rights and democracy in russia. and efforts to punish russia by retraining jackson-vanik restrictions only dark and russia's political future, hamper his economic development frustrate its democratic aspirations. so i think we've got to listen
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to the folks in russia on the ground fighting for some of the things number one. number two we had to look basically and factually here. russia will join the wto whether or not we grant ptnr and granting ptnr is the only way american producers will see the benefits of russia's succession to the wto. but we want to cut off our nose to spite her face with them and complain about what's happening here. it's a pretty simple equation. so i may ask you, mr. pollett who produces in our state are proud of what she does it during aviation subsidiary, won't filling it but your workers in massachusetts at a disadvantage for trying to sell into the market without it? >> absently at a disadvantage towards european counterparts. >> correct, senator. >> so what are the risks of losing market share in russia
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>> to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and probably several hundred u.s. jobs mediation industry. >> and i understand the bilateral treaty that we have on the most-favored-nation says only applies to exports and goods. >> even with a lateral agreement if we don't pass, that doesn't deal with it because they will probably be in services. is that correct? >> correct. that would lift jackson-vanik because jackson-vanik, which is incidentally i'd say to my colleagues, we have to do do the savings we say were going to do. jackson-vanik is about immigration. every president since it went into effect in 1974 says you're dealing with immigration in order to allow the immigration. that is happening. so we send a terrible message as we try to negotiate with people
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and we kind of pull things out and counter play them. we don't have any protection under the bilateral agreement on intellectual property rights and and -- and the dispute settlement process at the pto at least gives us that protection, doesn't it, mr. williams? >> in china, wto did exactly stellar problems. to give us a specific example, china was admitted to the pto in 2009 established a rate on and paid us for that year and that you're only. the human rights issues in all of these elements i have -- the problems everyone is facing you make amazing sense and i understand that. for my organization, we are looking at a situation where wto
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is simply, without really aggressive action from our government -- >> we need aggressive action. a lot of folks here, myself included in arguing the need to get tougher and we could do more within the context of china and we're pushing to do that. i don't mean to cut you off, but i want to ask mr. larson when question here. does the existence of jackson-vanik today further the cause of democracy and human rights in russia and anyway we can usher? measure? >> i testified i think removal of jackson-vanik an extension of ptnr is an important step in establishing the rule of law basis for a relationship. i think there a lot of other things we should do and then urging that we go forward with those as well. >> r. basinger to russia has called for $50 million of new money to be supportive of civil society development efforts this
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week. given your familiarity, do you think we should make the money available and put to good use for reform efforts? >> i think that would be a good set. we have to strengthen civil society in russia. one of the things they advocate as we work with russia to establish more space for civil society and organizations like transparency international to call out consensus of suspect that corruption and deal with them. i think strengthening nongovernmental organizations and so i think this proposal would be one additional tool for doing so. >> sorry. my tennis. >> just one second since senator kerry might've been out of the room when i put the letters in the record. the piece in "the wall street journal" specifically refer to the letter that you quoted. as they say of course to the russia's foolish enough to
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support jackson-vanik, but should be replaced by something else and when we passed which has been done. >> next, senator grassley. >> i was in and out because of other committee meetings. i think that looking over your testimony, hearing what i heard, i don't have any disagreement with the point you made. what i would like to meet this point and maybe it refers more to agriculture than it does to other aspects of our economy. the ratio was invited in the wto and if they change their laws by a certain date in june that they have to change them and then it is our responsibility to deal with jackson-vanik and at various times in the past i found reason to vote to change jackson-vanik for particular
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countries that had to do that. the thing that bothers me is once a country is in the wto, i know we have the process to resolve differences. it is kind of a very rigorous process and one that is not very easy to predict what might happen, but he hoped the rule of law is going to govern in the final analysis. the boot tree now and whenever we have to deal with jackson-vanik, it seems to me that the white house is not doing what they are to be doing to use the pressures that we have yet to make sure they particularly in agriculture and particularly with port, that ratio is that to the spirit as well as the responsibilities of wto and i think that is what i would call upon the white house
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to do if they want to have smooth sailing on the jackson-vanik proposition . i will yield back the rest of my time, mr. chairman. >> thank you and the senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you for holding this hearing. i chaired the trade subcommittee here at the senate finance committee and to me, really the threshold question on this whole issue is respect for rules and the question about how permanent normal trade relations for russia would in effect better compliance of trade rule as a trade supporter i consistently support these trade agreements. free trade does not mean trade free for moral. i have a question with respect to united states using its wto rate to insist that russia
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comport with global trade rules and i think part of what you have said in particular today, mr. williams, raises some of those concerns and that is what i want to explore for a minute. you uptight about the challenges in terms of doing business in russia. we're talking about discrimination, expropriation, failure to enforce property rights, a host of issues they relate to this question about google's compliance. and for me an indicator of an appetite to make sure russia's wto commitments might be found in the degree to interest we've seen an eligibility for the system of preferences. what is known as gsp. i want to send a quick minute looking at how gsp has the right to russia. that gsp is a preferential
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program. we look down on the trade subcommittee to provide duty-free treatment of imports from russia so long as russia complies with the eligibility criteria that congress establish in the program. the criteria includes affect the protection of intellectual property, equitable access to russian markets and a requirement that russia not expiratory property. i want to ask a question of you, mr. williams and you, mr. larson at the touch on it. so you have some experience, mr. williams. this is not an abstract question. you have experience with respect to the intellectual property question and i would just like to ask you about what happened when you brought your concerns about russia's lack enforcement of intellectual property to the u.s. trade representative. what did they do about it?
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>> this is the greatest country in the world to be a songwriter in. i completely access to the state of commerce. i can sit down with the tory snl at the ip enforcement office and i got an immediate response. user 31 that areas. china and in the caribbean. but we are dealing with in russia that is unique i think is is your organization we deal with is pretty straightahead. this is not an organization, but they are constantly is completely on willing to the f completely on willing to the fat that we can do a back-and-forth. i've had wonderful access and what you've given us today the opportunity as you look at ptnr the unique position of being able to come and walk into the
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stranded stater positions. so we've had a wonderful response from our own government. but we need more aggressive -- if we move forward with or without the ptnr, we really need more aggressive response from our government to the russian government in protecting our rights. this value-added taxes and horrific -- has the potential for affecting our life in the future. >> my concern, mr. williams is if we are not seeing gsp criteria used to try to get you and others a fair shake and goes to the point, mr. larson made as well, what would we expect to be used on the eto click >> i don't know. the quick honest answer is that i know. i know we have tools that can be used within the government and my request is that it you honor us with that. >> my time is that.
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can mr. larson just respond? >> go ahead. sirach no, mr. chairman if i could, if mr. larson could just respond. >> senator, my point of view is that we do need to make a concerted push is a country on a range of rule of law issues in russia. i advocate the extension of ptnr. and i think at the same time it would be important for the administration to come forward to the congress with a plan for addressing some of the issues you just raised in the issues i raised my testimony testimony about the investment relationship and some of the issues that we all have with the corruption environment. and to present to the congress
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and for the congress to have a process for holding accountable the administration in making progress to address these issues. this is a path going forward that would have us working together to train the congress and the administration in russia to strengthen the rule of law. it would interfere. i'm not talking, mr. chairman, about a congressional term. i'm just saying let's capital all these problems as we tackle the ptnr issue. >> i'm glad you made that very clear he would not be conditional. i think that's very important point that you just made that it would not be conditional. you'd like the united states as they all would to negotiate a treaty with russia. you would like us with all negotiations with the countries
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and businesses and whatnot to be sequenced as your goals and you try to leverage when you can against the other to get a mutual agreement. you would agree, wouldn't she that this is not the case. there is no leverage here. i believe the countries generally do not grant concessions -- trade concessions optimistically out of the goodness of their heart. they don't do that. daily to thirst leverage. you have to leverage the country to do something anissa should do otherwise you get in the way of what i'm doing. you need coverage. this case, ptnr is not leverage. there is no leverage here. the united states -- well, it's united states does not grant ptnr, that does not hurt russia. if we do grant sub tree, and helps americans.
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as has been pointed out, this is not the creature not the free trade ago she meant. there's no negotiation. either we grant ptnr or we don't. and if we don't, we deprive americans access to russian markets and americans access to the wto procedures. we are hurting ourselves, not the russian spirit i agree we should talk to russia about the investment treaty, but we cannot sequenced these things because there's no leverage. the united states has no leverage over russia on ptnr. we'll may hurt ourselves if we don't present. i think we start talking aggressively and assertively to other countries but is not following the rules here. >> i agree with that, but i do think we do have leverage with
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russia. not on ptnr. >> this hearing is on ptnr. all i am saying is in the context of considering an extended ptnr is the time to have a plan for tackling these other issues and make sure we are aligned between the congress and the administration. >> and i think russia, why russia joined the wto? russia wants to join the wto because it wants to be part of the world community and it will help russia's economy and the statue if it's part of wto. the pressure is already going to be part of the wto irrespective of what the united states does here. so the question is, once russia joins the wto, to help ourselves by granting ptnr or do we hurt ourselves by not granting ptnr?
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?t the same time, many russians, at the same time, many russians, not all come in many in russia do want to address all the concerns we were talking about. for example, a more independent judiciary. i've spent a lot of times -- not a lot, sometime in russia talking about the need for more independent judiciary in several ways. one is to have a transcript of proceedings. there are no transcripts these days. second, to have trial by jury, not private judge. dirt, transparency, open judicial proceedings, not close judicial proceedings. get all that together and that will very much hope. i asked president medvedev about those three points and i will say he disagreed, but he agreed with the premise of my question that these changes are really critically necessary for russia
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to advance and he said yes he agrees with the premise of my question. after that the human rights that obsess address or human rights causes. it doesn't hurt us. it helps us. because otherwise, sometimes putin, sometimes others will then use u.s. to grant ptnr as leverage come as a foil to attack the united states and helped themselves politically. so i think this is a no-brainer. at the same time afterward very hard to address the serious issues. iran, missile defense are all extremely important, but we don't have leverage over russia on any of those issues with respect to ptnr. we might in other ways have leverage. senator kyl. >> mr. chairman, let me just ask a question of mr. larson.
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if we pass legislation for ptnr nothing else, in other words, we don't deal with sub two, have we accomplished anything? >> senator, i think the way we can accomplish something -- the mac this is a real simple question. i'll put it necessary to treat another way. is it necessary to mean anything for u.s. businesses click >> we need to repeal jackson-vanik and extend ptnr for businesses to get the benefit of russia joining the wto. >> exactly. that is why there is leverage. nobody here can say that the russians don't want repeal of jackson-vanik. they do. this is something the russian leadership wants desperately in something putin talks about. mr. chairman, your comments reflect that. so there is leverage.
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there is leverage with regard to jackson-vanik. the mac that is not what i said. i want to make clear what i said. i said that putin and others is sailing to you jackson-vanik is leverage. so for repeal it is no longer leverage. >> the point is in deciding whether or not -- mr. chairman if you want to argue with me, they need jackson-vanik repealed. they want it repealed desperately. that is beyond any argument. >> i disagree with that. >> then we have the disagreement here and i believe that the united states has leverage with russia, the good russian commercial business folks would like to see the united states have an opportunity to do better business with russia. they would like to see the rule of law changes at all if you
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have identified here. they understand corruption and the lack of an investment treaty is hurting investment in russia. they understand that. they would like to see jackson-vanik repealed, so with the ptnr would help us as well. but i think it is actually running us to say there is no leverage for the united states with respect to jackson-vanik. the question is, will that go beyond the human rights abuses like the magnets key at, which i presume will be a part of this, or will it involve other changes as well? and simply suggesting that we have an ability here to get russians were engaged than they have been in rather than doing this without any other conditions as you say, like the magnets key at, we have to consider that. this is not a question, but i
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think mr. larson, your comment as it would be in effect give without the repeal of jackson-vanik. >> and also your point, which is between the two branches of government here the congress has an ability to engage the administration perhaps more than the administration has been engaged. >> i just want to state the way i see it and try not to step in between the chairman and as senator kyl. but here is what i'm advocating. here's here is what i am advocating. i think that it is the right time for the administration to work with the congress to establish a plan for moving forward on all these aspects on rule of law. they all relate to business environment, investment, corruption and ptnr.
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i think as i've said before that we should move forward as part of that consideration with the extension of ptnr. i think he said, mr. chairman, that russia has to take action by understand intelligent observers believe that is likely to happen sometime in june or july. so i think we should be thinking about what needs to be done in the united states in that same timeframe. why on ptnr comes to on-call operations between the congress and the administration on how we are going to tackle the other move for issues that we see. >> thank you. >> one final point for mr. taylor. i want to tell you that there's few people in our state involved in this that one has to grant
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the ptnr. last week and i home at the capitol barbershop in and, montana. melissa is a russian. she told me that she has been following this and she had written to her relatives in russia, telling them they can expect to get more american beef , especially montana beef. i was very, very pleased to hear that. can you tell us more about how we can improve our export markets under this proposal? >> senator baucus, according to ptnr, the terry quotas that we don't currently have under the bilateral agreement tax advantage, the other thing this does is open up the high-quality beef which is that we are very good at producing in this
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country a novel go when under the 5% tariff with no quota and i think we can take full advantage of this. to address other issues i guess what i would like to see is this, if we don't do it, if we are not trading with russia, somebody else is and i think we wonder influence to be in russia. we want them to go to a democratic style of government and our people sending cattle over there and in this pressures over there i think are perfect intellect to show these people what democracy is all about. and i think that is something that our culture displays very well.
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>> i think it struck me and mr. allen's stuns me that potential at agriculture is that russia. your managed-care, mr. allen told me in russia at first it was very impressed with equipment over there. and he was very careful when i asked, what is your russian competition, he did not want to be too critical, but he is very in describing. but the main point i'm making is the operator, the manager over there told me that the manager of a russian firm tells his operator were to combine a tractor in the operator tells when you get up in the morning, just go straight as far as you
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can and don't drink. just go straight in the day you stop and turn around and come back. that's a big some of those fields, pastures are over there. he told me also about the arable acreage in russia. he told me about the water, irrigations can soon be available, how much water there is in russia per person compared with other countries has tremendous potential over there. we think we have it places on our state? some other places over over there are pretty big. thank you for your testimony. senator said. >> thank you, mr. chairman. is her holding a hearing. i want to thank our panels for coming and in providing your testimony and responding to questions. this hearing is somewhat unique
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in that we are actually talking about whether or not to repeal a law. the jackson-vanik amendment currently applies to russia and i think a lot of people believe it has outlived its usefulness. i know that will probably be a discussion that we will continue here. but i think it is important to do everything we can to provide u.s. businesses greater asset to market street is a growing export market in russia. i know people like mr. williams are interested in intellectual property elections which is something obviously would be a big part when russia does come into the world trade organization and some of the disciplines that exist they are. so i guess, you know, this is an issue for us to look at the economics at least and certainly looks that it's a one-way street in terms of the benefit of u.s. producers and exporters. i want to ask a question and maybe mr. pollett and mr. allen is hard to buy the fact that
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they have penetration in russia in fact right now u.s. products account for about 4% of russia's total import market while the e.u. accounts for 43%. i guess my question is why is this a case and perhaps a follow-up to that if the united states does not grant russia ptnr status to you expected to grow even larger than it is today? >> from our standpoint, we do about $800 million of business in russia as last year. 70% was product that cannot at. because of what the chairman taught about in terms of russian potential freethinker market will grow by four to five times. it hasn't grown to support her because the whole country
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started to develop away from the russia-based equipment that is very, very low productivity type to high-tech farm, but the tradition is now going on. to answer the second part of your question, our number one competitor is another western company found in germany. how the benefits of wto with russia appeared to have a don't pass it, will happen is they immediately have a major benefit from across the standpoint of cytosine or business grow, the business will shrink. >> senator, one of the reasons we are so small is because the geographic issues are so far away. france is much closer, much work i did as well. one of the things these countries do is focus on exports of principles to sell their products and something the u.s. could do more of to help a
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government help sell more. i also think the improvement of u.s.-russian relationship has proved the business gives a wallop us going forward. we might say it is not a prude but i think it is improve pretty much over the last several years for what it used to be in that top u.s. business and open doors. >> if we don't grant russia a ptnr, d.c. any -- should describe what i think are some of the geographic advantages built-in for europe, but it is that disparity in terms of penetration in that market speed speed and making sure government orders that would cooperate on economic france. >> i want to just follow up with the senator from montana would like to export more montana beef. we would like to export more south dakota beet.
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it's a big pie. we need to grow the pie appears that in your testimony has status to mr. taylor commuted talk about the importance of the producers and of russia's wto commitments on sanitary and satisfactory standards. which of these commitments you believe are most important to ensure market access to beef and how important is that for beef producers who have access to dispute settlement procedures to assure commitments or enforce? >> senator, i think all of these are important simply from the fact that as you go down the road, some of always become protectionist on, but i think trying to bring russia in line with scientific data and
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international standards is what we seek from over trading partners and that is what levels the playing field for all of us. but we most definitely have a product that 10 years ago wasn't even going into russia. today we are over 45,000 metric tons and that is more than what we are sending to the e.u. so from our standpoint the profit that is coming to our business is from our export markets, whether it be russia or korea or whatever and that is
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substantially helped us. we needed to keep up with the cost of doing business. i know from my standpoint i am not making any my money today than i was five years ago, may be less because it cost me that much wanted to do business in what we've been doing. >> my time expired. mr. chairman, i do think there is a tremendous upside for american agriculture that if we are going to continue to see the types of commodity prices that have helped agriculture prospered, we have to look at ways for more markets around the world. 96% who knows outside of the united states. there is a tremendous upside and you like it will we do in russia relative to what might be able to do and it certainly looks like a target rich environment.
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>> senator, in your states involved in this, in the export of live cattle to russia has been brought to my attention that the population of cattle in russia in 1917 was 18 million. that is roughly one fifth of what we have in the united states. today it is 400,000. we will probably ship somewhere close to 15,000 to russia in the next year. we have a long ways to go to get russia to the standards they need to be. and we have an expanding population worldwide that we are going to have to feed on the same land that we have today.
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so, i think it is pretty crucial and critical to all of us to have russia forward. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, senator and witnesses. you are all very, very helpful. deeply appreciate you taking the time to come and talk to us. thank you very much. the committee was adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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discussed a letter that was sent to secretary pineda which calls for end of the u.s. government's relationship with the russian state-controlled arms exporter currently supplying arms to china lebanon syria into the government of iran. he was joined by democratic whip dick durbin in illinois tomr. c: support the request. this is about 20 minutes. will be coming to the floor, but let me get started. according to the united nations, more than 8,000 syrians have been murdered in attacks by the desperate regime of president bashar al assad of syria. we continue to receive press reports on a daily basis about assad's forces summarily executing, imprisoning and torturing demonstrators who want nothing more than what we take for granted, which is to live in
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freedom in a democracy. this week -- this week we learned that dozens of syrian women and children, some infants as young as four months old, were stabbed, shot, and burned by government forces in homes in syria. i think it's difficult for most of us to comprehend and most of us would be so revulsed by it we would not want to comprehend the kind of brutality assad is perpetrating against his own people, yet in the face of these atrocities, russia continues to prop up the assad regime by supplying it with arms that are being used to slaughter these innocent syrian civilians. russia is the top supplier of weapons to syria, reportedly selling up to $1 billion or more worth of arms just last year. western and arab governments have pleaded with russia to stop
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supplying these weapons to the assad regime but they have refused so far. russia is not just passively supplying weapons to the assad regime, it's also recently admitted to having military weapons instructors on the ground in syria training assad's army on how to use these weapo weapons. russian weapons, including high explosive mortars, have been found at the site of atrocities in homs. mr. president, this picture, which was taken from "al arabia" and reuters, translates into "russian foreign minister sergei lavrov, why don't you visit viss
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and see the effectiveness of your weapons on our bodies of children." the russians see their role and current misery as reflected by this picture and by this statement to russian foreign minister sergei ravlov. russell borne export is russia's official arms exporter. this company now handles about 780% of russia's foreign exports, according to its web site, and it's spearheading russia's continuing effort to arm the assad regime, which, in my mind, makes them an accessory to mass murder. i see the distinguished majority whip has come to the floor and i want to give him a chance to make any appropriate remarks he cares to make and engage in a colloquy with him. but let me just close my comments at this point on -- on this concern that i have. not only is russia selling arms to syria to kill innocent civilians, but you can imagine
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my shock and dismay when i found out that our own department of defense has a contract, a no-bid contract, with this same russian arms merchant that is helping arm the assad regime. this is a no-bid contract to provide 21 dual-use mi-17 helicopters for the afghan military. this is, as i said, a no-bid army contract awarded just last summer that's reportedly worth more than $900 million. so the only thing i can conclude is that the united states taxpayer is providing money to a russian arms dealer to purchase russian helicopters for the afghan military from the very same arms merchant that is arming president assad's regime and killing innocent syrians.
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i think that, along with 16 of my other colleagues, we have sent a letter to secretary panetta expressing our alarm and concern over these arrangements and asking for further information and urging them to reconsider this consider with rosa borne export. but i want to just stop on this point. we must keep the pressure on the department of defense to reconsider this contract and on the russians to cease all arms sales to the assad regime. i'm hopeful that the upcoming debate on the repeal of jackson-vanik will provide an opportunity for the senate to further examine these serious issues. and let me again close by stating my appreciation to senator durbin, the distinguished majority whip, for his participation in expressing alarm and concern over these circumstances and ask him to
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make any comments he cares to make. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader is recognized. mr. durbin: it's my honor to join my colleague and friend, senator cornyn of texas. we're on opposite sides of the aisle but we're on the same side on this issue. listen to what america has said about what's happening in syria. almost 8,000 innocent people have been killed in the streets of syria by ba bashar assad, the dictator. the people who expressed their concern and objections to his policies are mowed down and killed in the streets. their homes are bombed and nothing is being done. sadly, the united states, when it tried to engage the united nations security council to condemn this action, to join the arab league and others condemning what assad is doing to these innocent people, our efforts were stopped by china and russia. the relationship between russia and syria is well documented. they have been close allies for many years. we also know that they are
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providing about $1 billion in russian military aid to the syrian dictator to kill his own people in the streets. that's part of this. and i have to join senator cornyn in saying how concerned we are when we learned that one of the leading military exporters of russia, this rosa boren export, is doing business not only in syria but with the united states government. now, i understand the history of this. we're buying russian helicopters to help the afghans defend their country against the taliban. the helicopter of choice in afghanistan today is the old soviet i believe it's m-17, m-18 helicopter. so our government is buying these russian helicopters to give to the afghan government to fight the taliban. we are, in fact, doing business with the very same company and
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country that is subsidizing the massacre in syria. it is right for us as members of congress to make that point to secretary panetta and the department of defense. i think it is also appropriate for us to ask why we are not converting the afghan defense forces, the security forces, to another helicopter -- can i be so bold as to suggest it be made in the united states of america, since we're paying for it? why aren't we doing that? why aren't we creating jobs here in america and training these afghans on helicopters that come from our country? that are as good or better than anything the soviets ever put in the air? i don't have a preference on an american helicopter. don't have any producers in my state. so i'm not into that particular bidding war. i wouldn't get into it. but i do believe sending a word to the russians immediately that our relationship of buying these helicopters in afghanistan so that we can subsidize their
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military sales to syria should come to an end. that's what this letter is about. we cannot pass resolutions on the floor condemning the bloodshed in syria and ignore the obvious connection. russian military arms moving into syria, killing innocent people. let me show, for the record, here, i noticed the senator from texas brought a photograph with him. this photo that i'm going to show here is one of a russian warship, an aircraft carrier docked at the syrian port of tartus on january 8 of this ye year. what we couldn't turn into a poster is the video clip showing the russian war ship captains being greeted like royalty by the syrian minister of defense, who went out to welcome the ship. this soviet -- pardon me, this russian aircraft carrier was launched from a port used by the
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same export company. i can't go any further in saying that the particular company involved sent goods on this particular ship, but the fact of the matter is obvious -- syria has become a major supplier of military arms to the syrian dictator who is killing innocent penapeople. we are doing business with that same military company, rosa beron export. it is time for to us step back and say to the rugs, we can no longer continue this -- russians, we can no longer continue this relationship f. you are going to subsidize the killing of innocent people, we cannot afford it do business with you. america, we have to acknowledge the obvious. no matter what they are paying, it isn't worth the loss of innocent life in syria. i thank the senator from texas for joining me. i think we have another 16 or 17 colleagues who are joining us in this effort, bipartisan effort, to raise this issue. and i hope that the russians will understand once and for all they can't play both sides of the street. and we in the united states should draw the line. i thank the senator from texas.
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mr. cornyn: would the senator is the senator aware that the very same arms export -- arms merchant, rosa export, i think is the way it's pronounced, or something close to that, has also been documented selling weapons to iran and venezuela? mask, according to one published report, as late as 2005, rosa boren export sold iran tor m-1 antiair missile systems worth $700 million. and iran's revolutionary guard corps successfully tested this antiair missile system in 2007. it's also reported that in 2012, russia will deliver t-72 tanks, bmp-3 infantry fighting vehicl vehicles, and btr-80 armored personnel carriers to venezuela,
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just on our back door in south america. and that in -- in the last five years alone, hugo chavez, a dictator with strong ties to cuba and fidel castro, that venezuela bought $11 billion worth of republicans through rosa boren export in the last five years. i wonder, do you find that surprising or alarming? mr. durbin: i would say to the senator from texas, a point which you made earlier and i think bears repeating. rosa baron is the russian state-controlled arms export firm. there is no so-called private company. this is a firm run by the russian government. as you go through the litany of countries that they are supplying, you are going through a litany of countries that have never in recent times had the best interests of the united states at heart. if the russians through their
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government company want to supply iran which we know is an exporter of terrorism, not only in the middle east but around the world and in the united states, if we want to supply them, if they want to supply sniper rifles and arms to the syrians to kill their own people, why in the world are we doing business with them? there ought to be a line that we draw at some point. we have no obligation, moral obligation to do business with a firm that is in fact supplying those that are killing innocent people and our enemies around the world. i thank the senator from texas for raising those points. mr. cornyn: i would also ask the distinguished majority whip whether he was aware of the testimony within the last couple of weeks before the armed services committee, secretary panetta, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, with a lot of attention being placed on iran, the principal state sponsor of international terrorism in america -- in the world today,
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and a destabilizing influence in the middle east, seeking as they are a nuclear weapon which would create at the very least a nuclear arms race in the middle east and a consequential destabilizing area of that region. i know the senator is aware that syria is one of the principal proxies for iran, and general dempsey and secretary panetta both said that if syria were to go by the wayside as various other countries have in the arab spring, that it would be a serious blow to iran's aspirations for hedge -- hedge emmy in the middle east and something that is important for the peace and stability in that region. i know the senator is aware of the close relationship between syria and iran, but i wonder if you would care to comment on that connection. mr. durbin: i would say to the senator from texas -- and i am
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sure he has studied this as i have -- it's hard to parse out the elements in the middle east and decide who is fighting for which team, but when it comes to syria consistently, they have allied themselves with iran and in that alliance, iran has been very supportive of syria and hezbollah and another group, terrorist group that is operating primarily through syria. so that close connection there is a matter of concern to me. our goal in the middle east is to create stability and to stop the march of these dictators in the middle east who are killing innocent people and denying them their most basic rights. we have tried everything short of military intervention, which i do not call for in the syrian situation, but we have tried everything else diplomatic and economic to put pressure on syria. we should continue to, and we should join with other nations to continue the efforts of the united nations, but we can't get
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this job done when russia plays the role of outliar, -- outlier, supplying both syria and iran with military arms and support. if they want to truly join us in a stable situation in the middle east, they should tell assad it's over, and it clearly is over. this man would never legitimately govern syria from this point forward after killing so many innocent people. and i hope what we are doing today is suggesting to this administration and secretary panetta another avenue to let the russians know that we find it unacceptable for them to be supplying arms to what is a destabilizing influence in that part of the world. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i can't recall whether i asked unanimous consent, but if i haven't done it to this point, i'd ask unanimous consent that the letter that we're referring to that 17 senators sent to secretary panetta be included in the record at the close of this colloquy. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. cornyn: well, i know, mr. president, there are other
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senators who are signatories of this letter who may well be coming to the floor to talk more about this issue, but i want to express my gratitude to senator durbin. it's important that the united states speak out on behalf of people who have no real voice in defense of their most basic human rights and point out that president assad and his regime not only are killing innocent civilians but also being supplied by russia who also maybe not coincidentally, senator durbin, also vetoed the sanctions that the u.n. was considering with regard to iran. so it's very important that not only we speak up on behalf of the people who have no voice and no defense but we also make sure that the united states government at a very minimum isn't doing business with the very same arms merchants that are supplying weapons to president assad with which to
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kill innocent syrians. i thank the -- i thank the chair. i'm advised that senator ayotte was planning on coming. she is a signator to this letter, a member of the armed services committee, who shares many of these same concerns, but she is not going to be able to come at this time. i am sure shell be commenting on this later. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and thank my colleague. the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader is recognized. mr. durbin: i thank my colleague mr. durbin: i thank my colleague and called for passage of the violence against women reauthorization act. their remarks are about 45 minutes. ms. klobuchar: i'm honored to be here today with the women senators to talk about the
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reauthorization of the violence against women act. a law that has a history of passing this chamber with broad bipartisan support. i would note that there are many authors of this bill. i think up to something like 58 authors currently and the women that are speaking today include myself and senator feinstein, senator hagan, senator mikulski, mr. senator murray, senator boxer, also intorg the bill are senator collins and snowe and senator mccaskill, stabenow and gillibrand. the bill is led by senator leahy and senator crapo so we're here to pledge our support for this bill and ask our colleagues to move forward for this bill. the violence against women was a landmark bill when it first became law in 1984. back then it started a sea change in it is a tiewdz and sent a strong message to the
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country saying that sexual assault and domestic violence are serious offenses that will not be tolerated. we heard that message loud and clear in my state, and i'm proud to say that our state has always had a strong tradition of standing up against these crimes. in fact, no conversation in our state about domestic abuse would be complete without mentioning former senator paul wellstone and his wife sheila, who we miss dearly. the wellstones put so much time and energy into bringing these issues out of the shadows into taking a subject that many people considered at the time a family matter and saying, you know, what? domestic violence isn't just something we can sweep under a rug. it's a crime, it hurts families, it hurts children, and we're going to do something about it. and while i led the prosecutor's office in hennepin county, minnesota for eight years, we put a lot of focus on the victims' needs and atlantic the
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children's needs in domestic violence cases. because it doesn't take a bruise or broken bone for a child to be a victim of domestic violence. kids who witness domestic violence are victims, too. we had a poster up on the wall in our office, madam president, a poster of a woman with a band-aid on her nose holding a baby, it said beat your wife, your kid goes to jail. you know why? the statistics show kids who grow up in violent homes are 76 times more likely to commit acts of domestic violence themselves. it's a sobering number, and over all, the statistics for these kinds of crimes are staggering. more than one in three women in the united states have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. and every year, close to 17,000 people lose their lives to domestic violence. so once again, this is not just a family matter. this is a matter of life and
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death, and not just for the victims but oftentimes for the law enforcement officers who are all too often caught in the line of fire. i've seen this in my own state. in fact, i saw it just a few months ago when i attended the funeral of sean schneider, a young police officer in lake city, membership. he died after responding to a domestic violence call. a 17-year-old girl was being abused by her boyfriend. when officer schneider arrived at the scene he was shot in the head. he literally gave his life to save another. i attended that funeral, madam president, and i still remember those three little children, the two boys and the little girl with the blue dress with stars on it going down the aisle of the church. and he you see -- when you see that, you realize the victims of domestic violence not aren't just the immediate victims, it is an entire family, it is an
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entire community. so we know all too well just how dwast stais stating domestic -- devastating domestic violence can be to victims and entire communities. six years ago we passed a a reauthorization bill out of the judiciary committee, and the bill has the support of 58 senators, including six republicans. i'm glad that this bill has continued to attract bipartisan support. i wish it was unanimous. just seven years ago, in fact, the reauthorization bill passed the house by a vote of 415-4 and it passed the senate by unanimous consent with 18 republican cosponsors. i know that this year some of my republican colleagues on the judiciary committee are not supportive of this bill, but it is my hope that while they may disagree with the bill, they will not stop this bipartisan bill from advancing. combating domestic violence and sexual assault is an issue that we should all be able to agree on. many of the provisions in the
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reauthorization bill made important changes to the current law. the bill consolidates duplicative programs and streamlines others. it provides flexibility by adding more purpose areas to the list of allowable uses. it has training for people providing legal assistance to victims and takes steps to address the high rates in native american communities. the bill also fills some gaps in the system and i'm pleased to say it includes the legislation that i introduced with senator kay bailey hutchison to address high tech stalking where stalkers use the internet, video surveillance and bugging to stalk their victims. the bill will give law enforcement better tools for cracking down on stalkers. just as with physical stalk, high-tech stalking may foreshadow more serious behavior down the road. we need our tools for our law enforcement to be as
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sophisticated as those who are breaking the law. now, i can tell you i want to end with this, i snow senator feinstein is coming -- i know senator feinstein is coming soon and a number of women who will be speaking today but i want to remind everybody in this chamber that domestic violence takes its toll. one of the most memorable cases i had in our office when our office prosecuted a case of a woman dmild eden prairie, minnesota. she was a russian immigrant, her husband was a russian immigrant, didn't have many friends in the communities. she was most likely a domestic violence victim for many, many years. one day this man killed his wife. he then took her body parts down to missouri. he left some of the body parts there and the entire time he had their 4-year-old daughter in the car with him. he then drove back to minnesota, confessed to the crime. and when they had the funeral,
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there was only me, our domestic violence advocate, and the grandparents that had come to russia and this woman's identity twin sister. what had happened at the airport when they arrived was that this little 4-year-old girl who had never seen her aunt, who had never seen her mother's identity twin sister, ran down that hallway when she saw her aunt the first time and hugged her and said mommy, mommy, mommy, because she thought that her mom was back. it reminds us all that domestic violence isn't just about one victim. it's about children, it's about family, and it's about a community. and we all know that this bill has always enjoyed broad bipartisan support. the women of the senate know it, there are already three republican women on this bill and many others, i hope to come. we believe in this bill, we ask our colleagues to support this bill.
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i see that my colleague, senator feinstein, is here, and i know that as a member of the judiciary committee she and i are the only two women members of the judiciary committee. she that has taken a lead on this issue for many, many years. thank you very much, madam president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. feinstein: madam president, i want to thank the senator from minnesota for her remarks. for a long time i had been the only woman on the judiciary committee, and i'm just delighted that she is there as well. and that we share the same point of view with respect to this bill. i rise today to urge the republican leadership of the senate to allow this piece of legislation that protects american women from the plague -- and it is a plague -- of domestic violence, stalking, dating violence, and sexual assault, to come to the floor of this senate for a vote.
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i was in the judiciary committee, i voted for the original violence against women act. it was authorized for six years. we reauthorized it. it served another six years. and now the bill is up for reauthorization. it came out surprisingly from the judiciary committee on a split vote. and, unfortunately, that was a split party vote. i might say i was stunned by this vote because never before had there been any controversy in all of more than a decade and a half, in all of this time about this bill. this act is the centerpiece of the federal government's effort to combat domestic violence and sexual assault. and it has actually impacted positively response to these
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crimes at the local, state, and federal level and i hope to show this. the bill authorizes a number of grant programs administered by the department of justice and health and human services to provide funding for emergency shelter, counseling, and legal services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. as a matter of fact, i was thinking last night when i was mayor of san francisco back in the early 1980's, i started the first home for battered women, which was casa de las madre sanch and it was such a critical need. women being battered had no place to go and often stayed in the home there where they were battered again and again. this bill also provides support for state agencies, rape crisis centers, and organizations that provide services to vulnerable
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women. and american women are safer because we took action. today, more victims report incidents of domestic violence to the police, and the rate of nonfatal partner violence against women has decreased by 53% since this bill went into effect in 1994. these figures are from the department of justice. so here we have a 53% decrease in the rate of nonfatal partner violence. the need for the services was highlighted in a recent survey by the centers -- centers for disease control which found on average 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the united states. 24 a minute by an intimate
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partner in the united states. over the course of the year now that equates to more than 12 million women and men. in california, my state, 30,000 people access crisis intervention services from one of california's 63 rape crisis centers in 2010 and 2011. these centers primarily rely on federal violence against women act funding, not state funding, to provide services to victims in communities. in 2009 alone, there were more than 167 -- excuse me, 167,000 cases in california in which local, county, or state police officers were called to the scene of a domestic violence complaint. 167,000 cases. that's many. despite the fact that the
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underlying bill has 58 cosponsors from both parties, not a single republican member of the judiciary committee voted to advance the legislation. now, the bill that came out of judiciary does have some changes, and i want to talk about them for a moment. it creates one very modest new grant program. it consolidates 13 existing programs. it reduces authorization levels for all other programs by nearly 20%. and the savings, 17%, the bill is reduced in cost by 17%. that's $136 million. it encourages effective enforcement of protective orders, and that's a big probl problem. women get protective orders and they're violated because they're
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want enforced -- not enforced. and it reduces the national backlog of untested rape kits, a real problem if a jurisdiction can't test a rape kit. yet there's some who refuse to support it because it now includes expanded protections for victims. and let me put this on the table. the bill includes lesbian and gay men. the bill includes undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse. the bill gives native american tribes authority to prosecute crimes. in my view, these are improvements. domestic violence is domestic viems violencviolence. i ask my friends on the other side. if the victim in a same-sex relationship is the -- is the violence any less real, is the danger any less real because you
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happen to be gay or lesbian? i don't think so. if a family comes to the country and the husband beats his wife to a bloody pulp, do we say, well, you're illegal, i'm sorry, you don't deserve any protection? 911 operators, police officers don't refuse to help a victim because of their sexual orientation or the country where they were born or their immigration status. when you call the police in america, they come, regardless of who you are. the violence against women reauthorization act of 2011 is supported by 50 national religious organizations, including the presbyterian church, the episcopal church, the evangelical lutheran church, the national council of jewish women, the national council of catholic women, and united church of christ, and the united
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methodist church. so i go back to my days as mayor and seeing over and over again, up-close and personal, in a city what happens because of domestic violence. i see police getting killed when they go into a domestic violen violence. we had a number of funerals of police officers in oakland which i attended, and it all stemmed from domestic violence. so to defeat this bill is almost to say, we don't need to consider violence against women. it's not an important issue. it is. it's not a partisan issue. it never has been in this body. , which is why, candidly, i'm surprised that i find myself on the floor urging that this bill be brought to the floor, because it's been historically, through two reauthorizations, a
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bipartisan bill. you can't help but notice this isn't the first time when a policy that would specifically imperil the health and safety of american women has compelled some of us to come to this floor and speak out on behalf of american women. i hope that this bill is not part of a march and that march, as i see it, over the past 20 years has been to cut back on rights and services to women. and i mean that most sincerely. i have never seen anything like it. when i came here, there were discussions over roe v. wade. when i first went on the judiciary committee, which was in 1993, i heard it, there were debates over supreme court opinions, casey et al. then there were debates over partial-birth abortion.
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then this year we fought against the blunt amendment, which would have effectively allowed employers to arbitrarily combine four pages -- decline to provide four pages of critical preventive health care services for wet. you know, we've had to fight for the simplest thing. i think young women forget that it took until 1920 for women to get to vote in this country, and it was only because women fought for it. and we have fought since the country was established for the right to -- to vote, for the right to inherit property, for the right to go to school. and now we fight for our rights to have sufficient service from the government with respect to our health. so now i'm here to fight for a bill that strengthens laws and protects women against domestic violence and sexual assault. to me, this bill is a no-brain
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no-brainer. it has the support of both sides of the aisle. it's bipartisan. it saves lives. it is a lifeline for women and children who are in distress, who have no place to go o other than to stay and to submit to domestic violence abuse. and no one can say i'm exaggerating. trust me, i have seen it. i've seen the bruised bodies up-close and personal. and this bill has reduced the number of assaults, domestic assaults, on women. the record indicates that. it should be continued. it's a no-brainer. i hope it's brought to the flo floor. i hope we maintain a bipartisan vote, and i hope it's reauthorized. thank you. i yield the floor. a senator: madam chair? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: thank you very much, senator feinstein. we've now been joined by the senator from washington, senator murray, who's been longtime
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fighting for domestic violence bills. thank you. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: madam president, thank you so much. and i want to thank my colleague from california, senator feinstein, for her longtime advocacy on this. and to our colleague from minnesota, senator klobuchar, for leading the effort this year to reauthorize this critically important bill to protect women in this country from violence. i was very proud to be here with the senator from california back in 1994 when we first passed the violence against women act or vawa, as we call it, which created this national strategy for dealing with domestic violence. and since we took that first historic step, vawa has been a great success in coordinating victims' advocates and social service providers and law enforcement professionals to meet the immediate challenges of combating domestic violence. this law has helped provide lifesaving assistant to hundreds of thousands of women and their
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families. it's been supported by democrats and republicans along with law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, victims' service providers, faith leaders, health care professionals, advocates, and survivors. vawa has attained such broad support for one reason -- it's worked. since it became law 18 years ago, domestic violence has decreased by 53%. and while incidents have gone down, reporting of violence and abuse has gone up. more victims are finally coming forward and more women and families are getting the support and the care they need to move themselves out of dangerous situations. as a result of the language in this law, every single state has made stalking a crime and they've all strength ends criminal rape -- strengthened criminal rape statutes. madam president, we have made a lot of progress since 1994 but
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we still have a long way to go. every single minute, 24 people across america are victims of violence by an intimate partner. more than 12 million people a year. 45% of the women killed in this country die at the hands of their partner. and in one day last year, victims of domestic violence made more than 10,000 requests for supports and services that could not be met because programs didn't have the resources. that's why i was so proud to cosponsor and strongly support the violence against women reauthorization act, and it's why i join my colleagues today in prouding expressing our hope that we can move this critical legislation when possible. this is a bipartisan bill that will advance our efforts to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assaults, and stalking. it will give our law enforcement agencies the support they need
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to enforce and prosecute those crimes, and it will give communities and nonprofits the much-needed resources to support victims of violence. and most importantly, to keep working to stop violence before it ever starts. madam president, this bill was put forward in a bipartisan fashion. it is supported by hundreds of national and local organizations that deal with this issue every day. it consolidates programs to reduce administrative costs. it adds accountability to make sure tax money is well spent. it builds on what works in the current law, improves what does not, and will help our country continue on the path of reducing violence towards women. and, madam president, it should not be controversial. we reauthorized this law last time here in the senate unanimously by voice vote, and president bush signed it into law with democrats standing
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there with him. so i am really hopeful that the bipartisan approach to this issue continues today as we work to reauthorize this law once again, because, madam president, this shouldn't be about politics. protecting women against violence should not be a partisan issue. so i want to thank the democrats and republicans who've worked together to write this bill. i'm very glad it passed through committee. i stand ready to support this bill when it comes to the floor. and i truly hope we can get president obama for his signature in a timely fashion so women and families across this country can get the resources and support that this law will deliver. finally, madam president, i just have to say, many of us women have come to this floor so many times over the last few weeks to fight back against attempts to turn back the clock when it comes to women's health care, as the senator from california just talked about. i'm disappointed that these issues keep coming up. but i know i stand with millions of men and women across america
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who remain ready to defend the gains we have made over the last 50 years and who think we should be moving forward protecting and supporting more women and families, not moving backwards. that's what this bill does. thank you, madam president. thank you for your leadership. and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina is recognized. mrs. hagan: i want to thank our presiding officer or bringing this forward and the other comments from the senator from washington and the senator from california are really highlighting the issue as that we're talking about. but i am proud to join my colleagues to support the violence against women reauthorization act. and i stand here today, during national women's history month, to urge my colleagues to take swift action on a bill that's critical to the well-being of women, our families, and our country. as hillary clinton declared more than 15 years ago in beijing at the fourth world conference on women, "human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are
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human rights." if we take bold steps to better the lives of women, we will be taking bold steps to better the lives of children and families, too. it is disheartening in the last several months that petty partisanship and gamesmanship has held up policies critical to women's health, including this act. since its original passage in 1994, the bill has made tremendous progress in protecting women from domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. the bill has transformed our criminal justice system and victim support services. it has encouraged collaboration among law enforcement, health and housing professionals, and community organizations to prevent and respond to domestic partner violence. and it has funded programs, such as services training officers, prosecutors. it is training officers and prosecutors, and these are
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called stop grants, and they are used to train personnel, training, technical assistance and other equipment to better apprehend and prosecute individuals who commit violence, crimes against women. unfortunately, until congress takes action on the violence against women reauthorization act, the well-being of women across our country hangs in the balance. i see this as a serious lapse in our responsibility as u.s. senators. and as a mother of two daughters, i am here to tell you that this reauthorization cannot wait. the rates of violence and abuse in our country are astounding and unacceptable. according to a 2010 c.d.c. survey, domestic violence alone affects more than 12 million people each year. in the year leading up to the c.d.c.'s study, 1.3 million women were raped. and this study shows that women are severely affected bisexual violence -- affected by sexual
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violence, intimate partner violence and stalking, with 1-4 women falling victim to severe physical violence by an intimate partner. domestic violence also haze significant -- also has a significant impact on our country's health, costing our health system alone over $8.3 billion each year. the reauthorization of this act strengthens and streamlines crucial existing programs that really protect women. in fact, title 5 of the reauthorization includes a bill that i sponsored titled "violence against women health initiative," and this legislation consolidates three existing health-focused programs while strengthening the health care system's response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. this initiative fosters public health responses to domestic violence and sexual violence. it provides training and education to help the health
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professionals respond to what they're seeing from violence and abuse, and it supports research on effective public health approaches to end violence against women. since my time in the north carolina state senate where i served ten years, i have been dedicated to combating violence against women. while i was a state senator, i led the effort to ensure that local law enforcement tested rape kits to convict the perpetrators of sexual assault. it was astounding to me to discover that after a woman had been raped and she had an examination where d.n.a. was collected, that that rape kit test would actually sit on a shelf at a sheriff or a plagues plagues -- police station and would not be analyzed. sadly, the evidence would only be analyzed if a woman could identify her attacker. what other victims in america have to identify their attacker before law authorities will take action? when i first discovered this and
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brought it up, i was told there was not enough money for every rape kit to be tested. well, we soon found the money, but there are states today that still have these rape kits sitting on shelves unanalyzed. so for all of the progress we have made, combating violence against women must continue to be a priority and it must be a priority in every state in the country. so as i take the floor today in support of the violence against women's reauthorization act, it is fitting to recognize one of our fiercest advocates for women's rights. my colleague and mentor, senator barbara mikulski who on saturday will become the longest female senator in history. senator mikulski has been a strong and unwavering voice for women, families and the people of her state of maryland. she shepherded through the lilly ledbetter act which helps ensure that no matter your gender,
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race, religion, age or disability, one will receive equal pay for equal work and she fought tenaciously for her important amendment to the health care reform legislation ensuring that preventative care would be covered with no out-of-pocket expense. i thank senator mikulski for her mentorship, her leadership and her fierce advocacy for women's rights. i look forward to continuing to work alongside senator mikulski and my colleagues here today to promote policies that support our women, our children, our families and to put them on a path to a brighter future. madam president, the violence against women's reauthorization act is central to this goal, and i urge my colleagues to take this bill up and pass it without delay. madam president, i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota.
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the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: madam president, i am proud to be able to stand today to speak about the violence against women act in joining with some of my colleagues here on the floor. this is legislation that i have supported in the past and look forward to supporting again. as we talk about those issues that women care about, no surprise to most. we're talking about what's happening with the price of gas, what it costs to fill up the car tank. we're talking about the quality of our children's education. we're talking about the postal service in alaska. we had a military town hall. i met with some of the military spouses. and let me tell you, they were really quite concerned that some of the facilities that they access are -- are perhaps in jeopardy. we care about the security of our jobs, our spouses' jobs, our friends', our neighbors' jobs, all that goes into working in a
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small business. we certainly care about our country's fiscal situation and the very dire situation that we are in. but something else that we all care about is -- is the violence, the assaults that women often endure, their sisters, their daughters, their neighbors, their friends, and the violence against women act is an important commitment to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, that they are not alone. this is a promise that resources and expertise are available to prosecute those who would torment them, and also a reason to believe that one can actually leave an abusive situation and transition to a more stable one. it's one of the greatest importance that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are confident that there is a safety net available to address them and their immediate
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survival needs as well as the needs of their children. only on this level of confidence can one muster the courage to leave an abusive situation. these are some of the promises that are contained within the violence against women act. there are some additional reasons that i feel as strongly as i do about the reauthorization of this act, and it relates to the safety of the people in my state of alaska. unfortunately, in as beautiful a state as i live in, our statistics as they relate to domestic violence and sexual assault are horrific. they are as ugly as they come. nearly one in two alaska women have experienced partner violence. nearly one in three have experienced sexual violence. overall, nearly six in ten alaskan women have been victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. in alaska, our rate of forcible
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rape from between 2003-2009 was 2.6 times higher than the national rate. and, madam president, unfortunately, very tragically, about 9% of alaska mothers reported physical abuse by their husband or partner during pregnancy or in the 12 months prior to pregnancy. we have to do all that we can to get a handle on these tragic statistics, because as we know, they are more than just statistics. these are -- these are the lives of our friends, our neighbors, our daughters, and the violence against women act presents the tools to do so. in the villages of rural alaska, oftentimes victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence face some pretty unique challenges. many of these villages have no full-time law enforcement presence whatsoever, nobody to turn to, no safehouse, no place
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to go. a single community health aide must tend to every crisis within the community, including caring for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. oftentimes, they don't have the tools that they need, they don't have the rape kits, they don't have the training. oftentimes, you will have a situation where weather can prove an impediment to getting the victim on an airplane, out of the village to one of the shelters in a rural hub. you've got to remember, in most of my communities, 80% of the communities, there is no road out, there is no way to get out. so if you have been violated and there is no law enforcement and there is no shelter and there is nowhere to go, what do you do? basically, the victim is stranded in her own community with the perpetrator for potentially days before help can arrive. the violence against women act i think is a ray of hope for those who service victims of domestic violence and sexual assault within our villages. it devotes increased resources to rural and isolated
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communities. it recognizes alaska village public safety officer program as law enforcement so that vawa funds can be directed to providing a full-time law enforcement presence in places that currently have none. and it establishes a framework to restart the alaska rural justice and law enforcement commission. this is an important forum for coordination between law enforcement and our alaska native leaders to abate, discourage domestic violence and sexual assault. madam president, i, too, believe that the senate needs to take up the violence against women act, but i do feel strongly that we need to do it on a bipartisan basis. i'm a cosponsor of this bill. i know some of my colleagues have some concerns, and i have said that we need to take these concerns into account so that we can have, we should have an overwhelming bipartisan bill. this is too important an issue for women and men and families that we not address it.
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madam president, i know there are others who wish to speak, and i appreciate the indulgence of my colleagues in the few minutes that you have given me. thank you. ms. okeechobee: i thank the senator from alaska. we now have -- how much time left? the presiding officer: five minutes. ms. klobuchar: five minutes to be divided between senator mikulski, senator shaheen. the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: madam president, i strongly urge that the violence against women act come up to the floor so that we could look at the issues and debate them in an obey and public forum, and if people have amendments to either add or subtract from the bill or improve the bill, let's do it because this is really a compelling situation. i have been here since we have passed that first bill. in 1994, the original architect was senator joe biden, now our vice president. why did we do it? it's a compelling need.
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one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence. 16 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year. 23 million will be victims of physical or sexual violence. 20,000 in my own state of maryland. since we created the legislation in 1994, the hotline, the national hotline has received over one million calls. when women felt that they were in danger, danger, so that one million -- those one million people had a chance of being rescued. and who was the biggest request for passing the violence against women? it is not only the women of america, it is also local police. one out of four police officers killed in the line of duty are responding to domestic violence.
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they love the lethality index. when they go to a home, they have a checklist to determine how dangerous is that situation? is it simply a spat or a dispute or are they in the danger zone? madam president, we debate big issues -- war and peace, the deficit. all these are important. but we have got to remember our communities and our families, and i think if you are beaten and abused, you should be able to turn to your government to either be rescued and put you on the path and also to have those very important programs early on to do prevention and intervention. i fund this bill. i stand ready to support the passage of the bill and putting the money in the checkbook to support it. i ask unanimous consent my full statement be in the record. maryland has done such a good job. i want to leave time for other
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senators. i'm going to yield the floor, but i will not yield on this issue. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: i am pleased to join my colleagues on the floor today to support this crucial legislation to reauthorize the violence against women act. it provides essential services to women and families across the united states, and i have seen it in my home state of new hampshire where one program that i want to talk about funds services, training officers and prosecution. it is called stop. it provides law enforcement the tools they need to combat domestic violence. this was a life-saving service for a woman from new hampshire named kathy who was in an abusive relationship for six years. she was being -- kathy was being abused as often as twice a week, frequently leaving her with black eyes and bruises. once her partner mark threw her down the stairs.
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things worsened after the couple had their house foreclosed on, and one day mark grabbed kathy by the throat, lifted her up off the floor and dropped her and began punching her again and again in front of their 3-year-old child. this was the last straw. kathy finally mustered the courage to contact a friend who helped her call the local police. kathy obtained a temporary domestic violence restraining order, and mark was charged with assault. but as is often the case civil procedures overwhelmed and frustrated kathy so at times she even considered dropping the whole thing. but fortunately funding from the violence against women act made it possible for kathy to have an attorney who could help her, and thanks to this assistance from stop, from the violence against women act, kathy was able to obtain sole custody of her children as well as support payments and was ultimately able
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to make a fresh start free from abuse. this body should not be divided on this issue. i'm so pleased to have senator murkowski join us on the floor today to point out that this is a bipartisan issue. the presiding officer: the majority's time has expired. mrs. shaheen: by like to submit my entire statement for the record and urge my colleagues to support this reauthorization. support this reauthorization.
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>> our system is fundamentally undemocratic in a number of ways. one of the ways is close primary so in half in the states in the country's 40% of all the voters cannot participate in the primary and so they have no say into who gets nominated and as a result, we get more and more extreme candidates on both ends of the spectrum.
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